Ajita Shashidhar

Mumbai, April 4

Mumbai-based brand consultancy and marketing services company, mEssence, which has recently launched the country's first digital experience lounge, Xplore, is on an expansion spree. The company plans to set up four such lounges this year in Gurgaon, Bangalore and Pune.

Xplore is reportedly aimed at those who want to learn more about technology products they wish to possess at leisure and in the comfort of a lounge environment. "Our aim is to build a bridge between technology adoption and users, as we believe that if a person is not allowed to experience, there are very little chances that he/she buys it," says Mr Shubendhu Nath, Executive Director, Xplore.

"Therefore, the USP of our store is `Don't buy. Just Enjoy.' There is absolutely no obligation to buy," he adds. Mr Nath says that the Xplore's sole source of revenue is from the vendor companies.

The company is also planning to host a series of events at Xplore to draw more footfalls. "We are having a promo for kids titled `Build your own PC', wherein, we are going to expose them to various accessories that could be attached to a PC. We feel that these exercises would enable consumers to experience the various digital services and hasten buying decisions," says Mr Nath.

The company plans to invest in the region of Rs 75 lakh to Rs 1 crore on these experience lounges. "We are planning 12-13 shop-in-shops this year," says Mr Nath. Also on the cards is Xplore Corner, which would be theme-based shop-in-shops. "It could be part of a home décor store, which would specialise in home-related digital solutions, or it could even be part of a car showroom and would offer digital solutions that one would want to buy for ones car," he said.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated April 5, 2006)
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